Labor slow to restore confidence to racing industry

15 Oct 2015 10:36 AMJann Stuckey

Shadow Minister for Sport and Racing Jann Stuckey yesterday asked Minister Bill Byrne whether he had confidence in the appointment of James Dart to the position of acting head of integrity for Racing Queensland.

The report by Alan MacSporran into live baiting practices within the Queensland greyhound industry found a failure to comply with the current legislative framework for protection of greyhounds and the integrity of the industry.

“MacSporran’s report was tabled at the beginning of June, around 20weeks ago yet the only visible actions of the Palaszczuk Government was the sacking of all three racing boards,” Ms Stuckey said.

“If the minister really wanted to clean up the greyhound industry and renew confidence he would not have stalled for so long on the remaining recommendations in the report.

“Instead he would have advertised widely for new blood and new faces to take racing in Queensland forward and he would have started with a clean slate.”

Ms Stuckey said a number of industry representatives found the appointment extraordinary given Mr Dart’s previous role as chief steward for greyhounds at the time live baiting was exposed.

“Mr Byrne admitted he was concerned when he became aware of the nomination and that some would make the connection between Mr Dart’s previous role with greyhounds, and the present role with Racing Queensland,” she said.

“I call on the minister, given industry and his own concerns, to explain why this position was not advertised and why he did not seek expressions of interest from experienced persons including those interstate.

“Like many Queenslanders, I would also like to know when the new Integrity Commissioner and Commission members will be appointed.

“Queensland’s racing industry deserves better than what this minister has offered, with his negative attitude and damaging comments about this industry.”

[ENDS] 15 October 2015